Sunapee junior guard Issaiah Chappell scored his 1,000th career point last week and followed that up with a 38 point performance on Friday night vs. Epping. The Blue Devils however had a more balanced scoring attack, as they had 2 different kids score 20+ points and had 2 kids in double figures. Epping was led by 6-foot junior wing Colby Wilson (team-high 24 points), 6-foot-2 senior forward Brett Couture, Dylan Derosier (15 points) and Cameron Osgood (11 points) in a rematch of last year's D-IV title game (won by Epping).
"We need to win out to get a top 4 seed, which isn't a position we were hoping for" said Couture, whose team is now 12-4 on the season.
"The losses we have had have been good because we have learned from them, and that will help us in the long run" added Wilson.
Epping led by as many as 22 points, when it was 59-37 late in the 3rd quarter. That turned out to be too big of a deficit for Sunapee to come back from. The Blue Devils exploded for a whopping 30 points in the 2nd quarter.
"The key to building the lead up was execution, on the offensive and defensive end" said Wilson, who showed the ability to hit outside shots off the catch or off the dribble.
It was 16-9 Epping after 1, but the 2nd quarter is when they really started rolling. Chappell hit a 3 from the left wing, followed by a quick transition layup to cut the Blue Devils' lead to 18-16. Epping outscored the Lakers 28-15 the rest of the 2nd quarter. Wilson buried a LONG 3-pointer. Then after a good take and finish by Gorman for Sunapee, Couture bulled his way to the bucket for 2 and then Wilson drained another 3, this time a wide open look from the top of the key.
Chappell crossed over into a 3 to answer back and cut the lead to 28-23. But then Wilson hit another 3, this one off the dribble and showing a smooth stroke and dead-on jumper. Then his teammates started draining 3's, as Derosier and Osgood buried shots from beyond the arc. Epping had just hit three 3's in just over a minute - by 3 different kids. It was now 39-25 Blue Devils.
"Once one player hits a shot then someone else does" said Wilson. "Then it's raining from everywhere."
The Lakers stopped the bleeding temporarily, as Chappell quickly pushed the ball on the break and got it ahead to Platt for a layup. Chappell then hit a nice floater in the lane, but then Wilson connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer. It was 46-31 Epping at halftime.
Chappell also poured in 38 points against Epping last week. His career high is 39.
The Blue Devils continued to roll in the 3rd quarter, as Osgood hit his third 3 of the game to make it 49-33 off the catch from the left wing. Then they got the ball inside to Wilson for an and-1. With the ability of Wilson and Couture to finish inside and Wilson, Osgood and Derosier hitting shots from the outside this Epping team has a potent offense.
"That's the great thing about our team" said Couture. "We have the guards outside and me inside. It's coaches to stop us. The only thing that can beat us is ourselves. Everyone is really coming together."
Tom ullock made a good pass to Derosier who was cutting back door for a layup. Sunapee was trying to hang around, as they got a steal in the back court with their press and Chappell converted a quick layup. Couture finished a strong put-back inside to make it 59-37 Epping. It was 61-41 Blue Devils after 3 quarter.
Epping had the game well in hand as the 4th quarter started, but still you have to give Sunapee some credit for battling back in the 4th and making it a game. The Lakers exploded for 29 points in the 4th quarter, cutting the lead down to as little as 9.
Matt Tenney (16 points) hit a 3, as part of a 9-2 Sunapee run. Wilson bulled his way to the rim for a strong and-1 finish, but then Chappell hit a pair of 3's to cut the Epping lead to 66-54 with 3:54 left in regulation. Derosier made a good effort on a put-back. Sunapee kept fighting to get back in it though, as Tenney drilled an 18-footer off the bounce. Then the Lakers got a quick steal with their press, Tenney went hard to the rim, got fouled and hit both FTs. After another 3 by Chappell the Blue Devils lead was down to 9, 74-65 with 1:20 remaining. Epping held on from there for the 82-70 win.
Sunapee falls to 7-9, but the record is deceiving. They've had a tough schedule, and both Chappell and Tenney were suspended for the first few games of the season. They are a team capable of a beating a higher seeded team in the 1st round. As for Epping they have the pieces in place to contend for a second consecutive championship.